Why Serums Are the Most Important Part of Your Skin Care Routine

Anastasia Barbuzzi

If you follow ShopEco on social media, you know that there’s a treasure trove of information in every Instagram and Facebook post. 

From valuable tips and tricks like how to turn your foundation into a light-tinted moisturizer, to product recommendations for longer lashes and cleansers for all skin types.

Whether it’s a video of owner Debra Purdy dishing on the store’s newest arrivals or a masterclass on mask-ne from ShopEco’s aesthetician, Melissa Menard, there’s always something new to discover - including the bold statement below:


But cleanser is the first, foundational step in a skincare routine! Isn’t washing my face critical to having other products be more effective? If I don’t spend as much on a cleanser, am I settling for a sub-par product? 

Those are all rational thoughts, but cleanser really is the least important part of your skincare routine. Serum is where the long-lasting effects are at. 

Though cleanser is usually the first product customers choose for its affordable price point, the impact it will have is limited since it’s rinsed off after a few seconds.

If you’re afraid of spending your hard-earned dollars on a serum that you’re not sure you’ll like, read on to learn more about ShopEco’s skincare philosophy from Debra and Melissa.

You’ve been known to say that cleanser is the least important part of your skincare routine. Why?  

Debra: Because a cleanser is only on your skin for a short time (20 seconds maximum, in most cases) and then gets rinsed off, results are going to be very limited as compared to a serum or moisturizer, which stays on your skin throughout the day or night. Also, the primary function of a cleanser is to clean the skin, so any anti-aging or brightening functions are going to be secondary.

By now, ShopEco customers, facial clients and Beauty Hive readers know that a solid skincare routine consists of a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and more often than not, a serum. How would you rank a serum’s importance over the other products in a skincare routine? 

Melissa: As an aesthetician, I believe that all the steps in a skin care routine are important and serve a role. If you don't cleanse you leave bacteria, pollution, and free radicals on your skin that will contribute to inflammation, clogging and congestion, and premature aging. If you don't regularly use SPF your skin is subject to hyperpigmentation and premature aging. Serums are definitely important, and since they do so much heavy lifting, this is the product worth splurging on. 

Cleansers are "wash aways”. Do select a cleanser that works for your skin type, condition, and lifestyle, but if you have a limited budget, don't blow it on a cleanser. Lay your cash at the altars that best serve your skin: serums, moisturizers, and eye creams. 

“Do select a cleanser that works for your skin type, condition, and lifestyle, but if you have a budget, don't blow it on a cleanser. Lay your cash at the altars that best serve your skin: serums, moisturizers, and eye creams.” 

Can you explain why the high concentration of ingredients in a serum is so beneficial to skin? 

Melissa: True serums are like power shots for the skin. They generally have a higher concentration of actives designed to target specific skin conditions and concerns. The ABC's of skin care are cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. Those three products serve as your basic foundation to healthy skin. Those products are still selected based upon your skin type and needs, but they are not as targeting and specialized in action as a serum. 

Serums behave like boosters for moisturizers and can impart a large dose of skin-quenching hyaluronic acid, cell-renewing lactic and glycolic acid, or a megadose of vitamin C to brighten and even skin tone. A moisturizer locks in moisture, but a serum helps fight your skin care battles. 

More often than not, ShopEco customers hope to see big changes in their skin’s appearance fast. Would you say that the consistent use of a serum is the most effective way to see major improvements in a short amount of time? 

Melissa: Consistency is key with all aspects of a skin care routine. You cannot judge a product or skin care routine for at least one skin cell renewal cycle (30-90 days), which is dependent upon your age range. If you want to see brighter skin, better tone and texture, a reduction in fine lines and wrinkle depth (wrinkles won't disappear with skin care, hence depth), you need to jump on a serum with the right actives. 

If your skin is parched, even with the use of a good moisturizer (we're looking at you, chapped and dehydrated winter skin), you need a nice hydration serum. If you have a good core skin care routine, a serum will be like hiring a personal trainer for your workout routine; your regimen is improved and your results get a boost. 

“A moisturizer locks in moisture, but a serum helps fight your skin care battles.” 

Though a serum seems like a large investment for a small amount of product, do you think you get more bang for your buck? 

Debra: Absolutely. First of all, with most serums, a little goes a very long way. Most only require a very small pump to cover the entire face, neck, and decolletage. You can help it spread by applying your serum to damp skin rather than completely dry skin. 

Secondly, that small amount is delivering active ingredients in higher concentrations than your moisturizer. Similar to the purpose of a cleanser that I mentioned before, any functions other than moisturizing are going to be secondary. A serum’s main purpose is to deliver specialized active ingredients to your skin in concentrated amounts. Its anti-aging, brightening, or acne-fighting powers will be that much stronger.

So, are you ready to enlist your very own "skin trainer" to see results?  

Shoot us a message and we’ll help you figure out which serum is right for you. Plus, we’ll arrange a take-home sample for you to pick up in-store or curbside.

Ready to start looking for your perfect match? No problem. Browse our entire selection of serums, here



Anastasia Barbuzzi is a freelance journalist, the Digital Editor of Style Canada, and a writer for Yahoo Canada. She's a bookworm and a lifelong shutterbug, and you'll find her reporting on beauty, fashion, life, and style on the web and in print. A brand with a clean, green attitude and an almond milk cappuccino are a couple of her favourite things.


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Get to Know Veriphy Skincare

Anastasia Barbuzzi

If it’s been a little while since you’ve visited our store, it’s about time you met one of our newest brands: Veriphy Skincare.

Powered by nature and backed by science, Veriphy’s range of high-performance skin care products harness the power of PhytoSpherix® - a 100 percent plant-based form of glycogen that boosts the skin’s ability to produce elastin, collagen and hyaluronic acid for optimal hydration and a youthful, healthy glow.

Founded by partners Alison Crumblehulme and Jessica Kizovski in 2018, Veriphy is an avid supporter of women in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (a.k.a: STEM).

Melissa Menard, ShopEco’s aesthetician, stumbled upon Veriphy when searching for a Canadian-made lactic acid product. She was “beyond impressed" by the company’s offerings and the brand’s Power Trip Facial Serum turned out to be exactly what she was looking for.   

“Lactic acid is one of the gentlest acids available in skin care, making it ideal for sensitive and mature skin types. We have some really great exfoliating serums on the shelves of ShopEco, but really needed a product to best serve our sensitive client base,” Melissa said. “The beauty of ShopEco is our diverse customers, and we have a lot of sensitive and mature clients. Lactic acid is wonderful to gently turn skin cells over from the inside out, as opposed to a physical exfoliant (with a gritty texture) that works from the outside in.”

With all the love we have for Veriphy and its products, we thought we’d introduce you to Alison and Jessica ourselves. 

You can read more about the inspiration behind their beautiful line, it’s powerhouse ingredients, and the important work they’re doing in STEM and the green beauty space in a Beauty Hive-exclusive interview below. 

Anastasia Barbuzzi:
All Veriphy products provide a high concentration of PhytoSpherix®. Why did you choose it as your star ingredient? 

VERIPHY: In 2015, Alison Crumblehulme was hired as Vice President of Business Development at Mirexus Biotechnologies, the company that was created to bring PhytoSpherix® to the market. As a chemist and MBA grad, Alison saw incredible potential in this powerful material, which sparked the idea to develop her own skincare line with the ingredient at the forefront. 

Enter cosmetic sciences grad, Jessica Kizovski. As a chemist and an accomplished makeup artist, Jessica had tried all the major beauty brand’s skincare products and felt like something was missing. She was blown away with PhytoSpherix® and its ability to energize skin. She had finally found the ingredient that would help to bridge the gap between clean and clinical formulations. She took to engineering several innovative and unique, high-end skincare formulations with PhytoSpherix®. Alison then realized she had found the missing piece of the puzzle.

Alison and Jessica put together a business plan and, within a matter of weeks, Veriphy Skincare was born.

AB: On Veriphy’s website, you say that i
n third-party clinical trials of PhytoSpherix®, participants reported that their complexion was smoother, silkier, and more radiant - all goals that ladies with aging skin tend to have. Would you say that Veriphy’s products are best-suited to aging skin concerns?

VERIPHY: One of the most amazing things about phytoglycogen (PhytoSpherix®) is its ability to give your skin the energy to do what it needs to do. As we age, our natural glycogen storage declines. Glycogen is naturally occurring in the skin and plays a vital role in the storage of energy.

When you apply this product topically, it does more than refuel the depleting glycogen storage; it actually helps your skin produce other vital compounds that result in firmer, brighter and more hydrated looking skin.

At Veriphy, we believe that phytoglycogen should be part of everyone’s skincare routine as it plays a unique and important role in skin health that can benefit all skin types and all skin ages. That being said, our products are definitely targeted toward consumers looking to prevent and reduce the appearance of the visible signs of aging.

AB: Can you tell me about your most popular products and why they perform so well? Who exactly would you recommend them too and for what reasons?

JK: Our top sellers are our Power Trip Facial Serum, 20/20 Eye Cream and our new Hit or Mist Facial Toner. I think the main reason these products are resonating with our audience is that they work! We use clean, natural ingredients and challenge ourselves to forgo the traditional routes. Because of this, we put a lot of time and effort into each formulation, carefully selecting each ingredient to ensure maximum results. In addition to phytoglycogen, Veriphy products contain other power-packed ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, botanical extracts, avocado oil, peptides and AHAs.

I recommend Power Trip to all of my clients! As a 5 per cent lactic acid serum, it is doing two things: helping to exfoliate and hydrate the skin. Lactic acid acts as both a “chemical” exfoliator and is one of the components in your skin’s Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF). I find clients with oily skin really enjoy this product because of how lightweight it feels.

Our 20/20 Eye Cream was designed to prevent and repair any visual signs of aging. It is for consumers who are looking for a potent anti-aging formula that does more. Not only does it contain phytoglycogen and peptides to firm and hydrate the eye area, but also niacinamide and cucumber extract to visibly reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness. I love to recommend this product to anyone with really sensitive eyes as well. We have done lots of testing to ensure its safety around the eye area. Lastly, as a former makeup artist, I wanted this product to layer well with concealer and help our customers achieve a flawless, creaseless look.

As a female-run company, Veriphy has also put a major focus on women in STEM. At ShopEco, we’re so inspired by the fact that Veriphy is changing how underrepresented women are in STEM fields. Can you describe what led you to make this a company mission? 

VERIPHY: As women in STEM, we have both experienced discrimination within our respective fields of study solely because we are women. Women are still underrepresented in these fields, and as a society, we should want the most talented people leading discovery and innovation. It was only natural for us when we started Veriphy to lend our voice to this cause.

In addition to our scholarship, we hope to inspire young women to enter STEM by sharing stories about other women who have made positive contributions to these fields. 

About that scholarship - your partnership with the University of Guelph (a natural choice, since UoG is where PhytoSpherix® was discovered!) gives you the ability to grant a young woman entering a STEM program with the Veriphy Skincare Award for Women in STEM. According to information from StatsCan on your website, women are less likely to choose STEM programs, regardless of mathematical ability. Can you tell me more about the scholarship and what else you look for in a candidate? If anyone reading this is interested in applying, where can they do so? 

VERIPHY: We hope to help lighten the burden of student debt by offering a bursary to a first-year student entering a STEM program each fall. We look for students who are in need for financial assistance as our first requirement, followed by academic performance.

If anyone is interested in applying, please find the link to the bursary here.

AB: Jessica - what made you interested in pursuing a STEM-related career path before Veriphy? 

JK: I was always intrigued with the scientific world and I really came to love mathematics. I have a degree in math, biology and immunology. That being said, I have always loved the cosmetics and skincare world so when I discovered the post-graduate Cosmetic Science program it was the perfect way to bridge my two loves. 

AB: Sustainable and ethical practices seem to be an important part of Veriphy’s process, considering the fact that all
of your products are developed and manufactured in Canada using sustainable packaging and methods of production. Can you tell me more about why sustainability is such a fundamental pillar of your brand? 

VERIPHY: When we first started Veriphy, we knew we wanted our brand to be clean and sustainable. We found there weren’t enough brands taking the initiative to protect the Earth. As a brand, we know our actions impact the world for years to come. That’s why we are committed to making every step count toward doing better for the people and the planet.

AB: You may have already noticed that ShopEco likes to shine a spotlight on (and carry) primarily Canadian and locally-made products. Why was keeping everything within Canada important to Veriphy from the

VERIPHY: Being a Canadian company, we are very proud of our roots and keeping everything local allows us to reduce our carbon footprint. We partner with local suppliers to create our packaging, source our ingredients locally wherever possible, and manufacture our products within Ontario as well. Being a green company goes beyond the ingredients in our products and is about how we operate as a whole.

You can find out more about Veriphy's products here, or book a free personal shopping appointment with ShopEco's aesthetician, Melissa Menard, and have a new skin care routine built for you by a pro.


Anastasia Barbuzzi is a freelance journalist, the Digital Editor of Style Canada, and a writer for Yahoo Canada. She's a bookworm and a lifelong shutterbug, and you'll find her reporting on beauty, fashion, life, and style on the web and in print. A brand with a clean, green attitude and an almond milk cappuccino are a couple of her favourite things.

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Hyperpigmentation 101: What You Need to Know and How to Improve it With Your Skin Care Routine

Anastasia Barbuzzi

Hyperpigmentation is one of the trickiest skin conditions to improve.

Sunspots (or “age” spots), melasma, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation - you may have heard about or experienced one of these darkening effects that have everything to do with hormonal changes, excess exposure to UV rays, and acne. 

If you nodded to one or more of these, don’t worry - it’s totally normal to have struggled when it comes to hyperpigmentation. 

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